Opening up our Free Alpha - Simple Microservice Infrastructure for You

On By Oliver Thylmann in product

In the last weeks we have been testing our microservice infrastructure with several close friends. We called this phase our "Closed Alpha". At the same time we were letting interested users put themselves on what we used to call "Private Beta List". However, in the process of planning how to open up our platform to more people and especially people that we don’t know personally (yet), we decided to revise our wording to "Open Alpha". Confusing? Yes. Logical? Absolutely. In light of our goal of transparency, we wanted to explain our line of thought, and our mindset behind that.

For one, we saw that our list of interested users was growing quite significantly and we think the best way to ensure a good user experience will be to let new users onto our platform in small batches in a regular timeframe (e.g. x users each week) and rather sooner than later. We decided to do this, as we want to have close relationships with our early users and build a product they love to use. We want to encompass as much early feedback as possible. There are tons of features to be implemented. But we want to choose the right ones, in the right order. We love to have conversations and get all of our users up to speed for using containers and Giant Swarm in the most efficient way they can.

Another reason for the "Open Alpha" naming is setting expectations right. Alpha for us means that things can still change, and that we are not production ready, though getting there. At the same time, our Open Alpha will be completely free (as in beer). Considering this, here’s what can you expect from us in this phase:

  • You can build, deploy, and run as many apps as you want.
  • Currently there are no limits set. As many apps, services, and components as you want. Only minor limitation is a scaling limit of 10 containers per component (which can be lifted). If we feel charging a user something on an individual basis would make sense, based on a certain size or constant usage, we will contact the respective and talk about it individually.
  • You can have your own YOURAPP.gigantic.io subdomains for your apps. (isn't that cool?)
  • We will try to have not too much downtime, but we cannot guarantee any SLAs at this moment. Our own apps are running on the same cluster. Your pain is our pain, doubly so actually.
  • There’s an ever so small possibility that anything hosted on our servers breaks or gets deleted. We do backups and always try to recover as much as we can, but again we cannot give any guarantees at this stage.

You can read more in our Docs.

So what would be perfect things you could try out on our Open Alpha:

  • One of our sample apps (see Docs)
  • A cool side project
  • Play around with different stacks for your production app
  • Run your automated tests
  • Always wanted to give {MeanJS, Golang, Rust, etc.} a try? Do it now!

If you’re not on the Open Alpha list yet, be sure to sign up now.

Picture of Oliver Thylmann
Oliver Thylmann
Co-Founder of Giant Swarm, Compulsive First Adopter, Developer Whisperer and Geek.

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